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Under the Rule of 48, What Do I Have Left for GI Bill Benefits?

Q: This refers to the “Rule of 48” VA policy. I entered Active duty OCT 77 departed OCT 85 and I have used 18 months of GI Bill benefits. It was not the Montgomery Bill. I returned to active duty (Title 10 call up) May 2009 and departed July 2011. What benefits do I have remaining? Thank you.

A: Yes, back in that era you most likely had VEAP as the Montgomery GI Bill did not start until 1984. Under the Rule of 48, if you qualify for two or more GI Bills, the maximum combined number of months of GI Bill benefits you can have is 48 months.

With VEAP you would have initially had 36 months of benefits and you have used 18 of those months already. Unfortunately, to get the additional 12 months of benefits, you first have to exhaust all the months of benefits under one GI Bill. So in your case, you would have needed to use up all 36 of your VEAP months to get the additional 12 months of Post 9/11 GI Bill. Because had not, you would be eligible for only 18 months of the Post 9/11 GI Bill or the amount of unused benefits you had left from your VEAP.

Also, because you had 26 months of Post 9/11 GI Bill qualifying service, you would be at the 80% tier, meaning the VA would pay up to 80% of your tuition and eligible fees (at a public school) and you would get up to 80% of the housing allowance and book stipend for the number of months of entitlement you have left.

Even though you were probably hoping for more months of benefits, this is still a good deal for you if you want to go back to school.

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